tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News June 11, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
have a great week and we will see you next "fox news sunday." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> welcome to the journal, editorial report, i'm paul. fired fbi director james comey made his much anticipated return to capitol hill this week appearing thursday before the senate intelligence committee. in his testimony, comey described his interactions with the president specifically a february meeting with mr. trump in the oval office as disturbing and concerning but stopped short of accusing the president of obstructing justice. >> i don't think it's for me to say whether the conversation i had with the president was an effort to obstruct. i took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning. but that's a conclusion i'm sure the special counsel will work towards to try and
understand what the intention was there and whether that's an offense. >> michael mukasey served as the 81st attorney general of the united states under president george w. bush. judge, welcome. >> good to be here. paul: so let's focus first on what's the appropriate behavior for a senior justice department official like the fbi director in interacketting with the president of the united states? because when you go in to the oval office, it's intimidating thing, i guess. how is he supposed to behave when the president pulls him aside and says something like he said with michael flynn? >> the same way he would behave any place else. yes, the idea of the oval office is intimidating and maybe in fact intimidating for the first few times you are there. for the first 15 minutes. [laughter] >> if you have been a u.s. attorney in two districts, if you have been the deputy attorney general, if you have been for a number of years the director of the fbi and you're intimidated by being in the oval office, you're in the
wrong job. paul: how should he have reacted to that? >> if he thought what he says he thought, then he should have said, mr. president, we can't have this conversation. paul: and if he said he thought he was being directed to shut down that portion of the probe, the flynn probe, he should have said we can't have this conversation and talked to the attorney general? >> sure, talked to the attorney general. i don't think that it would have been reporting a crime. but he should have talked to the attorney general immediately simply so that somebody else was aware of what had happened when everybody left the room. paul: what about this idea that james comey has talked about? he used the word. he said the has traditionally been independent of the executive branch. is that true? >> no. it's not true. the fbi is in the executive branch. and it is not independent. there is a very funny story about ramsey clark when he first became a.g. showed up on a saturday and wearing a sport
jacket and stopped in the hall by a watchman who said can i see your i.d. well, i'm the attorney general. that's fine. show me your i.d. he said no, i'm the attorney general. he said i don't care if you are j. edgar hoover yourself, show me your i.d. that's some people's i.d. of the fbi being independent but it's not. paul: so the fbi director and the justice department are part of the executive branch or subject to the political accountability of the president of the united states. yet, there is some tension there because you don't want political actors directing investigations or saying stop that investigation. so there is some tension. there is some art to this? >> there is. you don't want political actors doing that. at the same time, if there are, for example, reasons state why an investigation should be stopped, if somebody is investigating a relatively minor crime, committed by some foreign diplomat or committed by somebody with whom, in whom
the president has a much larger interest, he would be perfectly proper in saying i want that investigation shut down there. are bigger things at stake here. paul: was the president's behavior in your mind improper, i'm not saying illegal but improper first? >> sure, sure. paul: shouldn't have acted that way. >> there are a lot of things that you don't do not because it's against the law but simply because you don't do them. that's one of them. paul: what about this question of obstruction of justice. do you see any of that in the facts that comey laid out? >> no. paul: why not? >> the obstruction of justice statute insofar as it is relevant requires that the president acted corruptly if he acted by force, which obviously he didn't. he acted corruptly that means doing something lawful by unlawful means or doing something unlawful. he didn't do either one of those. it wasn't that he took a bribe in order to shut down the investigation. it wasn't that he offered a bribe in order to shut down the investigation. he acted apparently out of
concern for flynn, perhaps even out of concern for himself. that's not corruptly. paul: what about the chain of events which is that he said i would hope to let this go and then later, some months later, he fired comey. is that a kind of chain of events that he was trying to shut down the probe by firing comey? >> if you want to shut down the probe, you don't shut it down by firing somebody to whom the people conducting the probe report. paul: i think that's been proven by the fact of all the uproar. >> correct. it's just not -- that's not just the way you shut down a probe. paul: if comey is kind of having it both ways here. look it, i have helped direct it shut down the probe. on the other hand i'm not saying it was obstruction of justice. if he really felt it was directed, okay, he was being told, look, you must do this. why -- didn't he have an obligation to go back to the justice department, tell his superior at the attorney general and maybe tap out a
resignation letter saying i cannot work for somebody who is directing me not to investigate something? >> that's certainly an alternative and, in fact, he, if you recall when he was deputy attorney general he had that famous hospital scene paul: yes. >> he did threaten to resign unless they changed out the program. paul: i think he typed out the letter in advance of that meeting. >> and, in fact, he was joined with the man who was now supposedly investigating all of, this robert mueller, the two of them both threatened to resign. paul: that is right. and then comey clearly said, but if comey had said i believed there was obstruction at the time, then he really would have had to have talked to the attorney general and maybe resigned. threatened to resign. >> right. paul: you would think he would? >> right. paul paul what do you make of him going back to the fbi as he testified, telling a half dozen or 10 colleagues about this and then keeping it quiet, essentially sticking his notes into a drawer and
then keeping it quiet from everybody until he was fired? >> that's what's known as having an ace in the hole. not only did he create a memo, he created a memo that was, by design, not classified, so theakd have it leaked eventually. gave it to somebody else to leak so that he wouldn't have his fingerprints on it immediately. and assured that, according to his own statement that a special prosecutor or special counsel would be appointed. that's an extraordinarily devious thing to do. paul: okay, but bottom line, if, based on the facts that we know now, there is not an impeachable offense or indictable offense in what we learned? >> an impeachable offense is what congress says is impeachable act paul: it's a political act? >> it's political act. gross neglect of duty or gross abuse of power needn't be a crime. i don't think this rises to impeachable act but that's for congress to decide. it is not a crime. paul: all right, judge. thanks very much for being here.
>> good to be here. paul: much more to come as we break down the comey testimony. should the former fbi director have voiced his concerns about the president earlier or even resigned? our panel weighs in next. >> why didn't you stop and say, mr. president, this is wrong? i cannot discuss this with you? >> that's a great question. maybe if i were a stronger, i would have. ♪ tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass, you get time for more life. this family wanted to keep the game going. son: hey mom, one more game? tech: with safelite, you get a text when we're on our way. you can see exactly when we'll arrive. mom: sure. bring it! tech: i'm micah with safelite. mom: thanks for coming, it's right over here. tech: giving you a few more minutes for what matters most. take care! family: bye! kids singing: safelite® repair, safelite® replace.
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♪ >> at the time did you say anything to the president about that is not an appropriate request or did you tell the white house counsel that is not an appropriate request? someone needs to go tell the president that he can't do these things? >> i didn't, no. >> okay. why? >> i don't know. i think as i said earlier i think the circumstances were such that it was -- i was a bit stunned and didn't have the presence of mind and i don't know, you know, i don't want to make you sound like i'm captain courageous.
i don't know if i had the presence of mind i would have said to the president sir, that's wrong. paul: florida senator marco rubio questioning thursday why fbi director james comey didn't immediately report his concerns about president trump's behavior to the white house counsel's office. let's bring in "wall street journal" columnist and deputy editor dan, and washington columnist kim strossel and editorial board member joe rago. dan, does this self-description of comey's behavior, i didn't have the self-possession to address the president directly and tell him this is inappropriate. does that wash in your mind? >> i don't think it washes in my mind, paul. but more importantly doesn't wash in the minds of the american people. everybody who watched that. i would include even democrats. look, there was something about the comey narrative that just didn't quite add up. and that exchange with senator rubio was a perfect example. virtually everybody listening to his description of what went on in the oval office,
certainly anybody who has been around washington would have said something improper happened there, you're the director of the fbi, and he could have walked out of that office. gone over to the white house counsel, and said the president has just done something improper. let me tell you. you have to go in and explain to him that this sort of thing can't happen or even have gone to the attorney general. and to say i don't know, i was so startled, strange. paul: even if he didn't want to go to the white house counsel's office maybe the white house counsel is intimidated. the attorney general of the united states is his immediate superior. deputy attorney general. but then the attorney general. and you should do that and he said he didn't want to do that because he thought, joe, that the attorney general was going to recuse himself from the russia probe. well, did he know that at the time? >> right. i mean, that's the big question. how did he know that? it's another. paul: he couldn't have known because he recused himself two weeks later, right? >> right. i mean, unless he is a fortune teller. his whole narrative is sort of
i was so stunned, i just couldn't -- i couldn't -- i didn't have the composure to do anything. but then he goes back, he writes a memo to himself. he discusses it with a half dozen of his senior deputies. and then reserves all this information for himself. doesn't inform the public. doesn't tell any of his superiors. just doesn't add up. paul: let's take a clip of an exchange with senator rich and jim comby. >> i mean this is the president of the united states with me alone saying i hope this. i took it as this is what he wants me to do. not -- i didn't obey that but that's the way i took it. >> you may not have taken it as a direction but that's what he said. he said i hope. >> those are his exact words, correct. >> you don't know of anyone who has ever been charged for hoping something. is that a fair statement. >> i don't as i'm sitting here. >> that's crucial as obstruction as judge mukasey made clear. and i mean, do you think that looking at all of this there
is, i mean, the democrats are obviously many of them going to say this is obstruction. but, what about the ultimate impact here? is that going to play politically, do you think? >> no. i don't. i mean, they are going to try to make it. but this was a pretty devastating blow that jim comey ultimately made to the democratic case that there was obstruction. because you look at the exact words and he has them down there in black and white and even he had to admit under testimony that the clear meaning of those words "hope" was not a direction. he could take it the other way and democrats can make a big fuss over that, but it's pretty clear cut on a piece of paper. paul: all right. dan? >> yeah. i want to add one point here. judge mukasey just explained to us that impeachment is a political decision, right, by the house of representatives. and the democrats have been trying to run this offense against donald trump as a political event. jim comey's appearance was one of the most mellow dramatic political events in washington in years.
and it just didn't live up to its billing. he did not make the case for them in a way they wanted to, that the president had done something in violation of the law. paul: all right. but there is still political damage, joe. >> right. paul: agree with dan's overall summary. called him a liar. if you want to read the worst into it trump was kind of subtly imply do me a favor here. and there is a couple exchanges that comey described him as patronage relationship where i don't believe comey is a babe in the woods as judge mukasey said. this guy is a bare knuckled bureaucratic fighter who knows how to really put presidents in their place, frankly. >> right. i mean, look, this is a guy, consummate professional who has caused crises in every administration in which he served. you had the bush administration over wiretapping under obama you have hillary clinton email investigation.
and improper exoneration of her in the summer. and now this. it leads me to believe that you're exactly right, that he knows what he is doing. when trump had this kind of tony soprano like behavior like maybe this case -- it would be nice if it went away. comey was probably thrilled. this is exactly the kind of material that he can use as political insurance. paul: and he went back and typed out that memo and kept it as a kind of forming of political insurance. never know when you are going to need that. >> no. he said explicitly he leaked it in the hopes of prompting a special counsel. paul: we want to get into that the next block. when we come back the white house goes on offense in an effort to move beyond the russia probe and keep the president's agenda on track. is their strategy a smart one? >> no collusion, no obstruction. he is a leaker. but we want to get back to running our great country.
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your entire dvr, top networks, and live sports on the go. included with xfinity tv. xfinity the future of awesome. >> mr. comey has now finally confirmed publicly what he repeatedly told president trump privately. that is that the president was not under investigation as part of any probe into russian interference. mr. comey's testimony also makes clear that the president never sought to impede the investigation into attempted russian interference in the 2016 election. paul: that was president trump's personal attorney marc kasowitz thursday responding to james comey's appearance on capitol hill. the president himself tweeted friday quote: despite so many
false statements and lies, total and complete vindication. and, wow, comey is a leaker. we're back with dan henninger, kim strossel and joe rago. kim, i want to address this question of leaks first. we have a side of comey how he directed a leak of his memos. let's look. >> the president tweeted on friday, after i got fired, that i better hope there's not tapes. i woke up in the middle of the night on monday night, because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversation, there might be a tape. my judgment was i needed to get that out into the public square. so i asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with the reporter. i didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons but i asked him to because i thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. paul: kim, that's pretty remarkable not the fact that he leaked through a cutout. that happens all the time in washington we should tell our viewers that but the fact that comey said he deliberately leaked it to trigger a special
counsel probe. >> the deliberateness of it. also, the ease with which he describes the process that he went through to leaking. because, this is now part of the discussion in washington is was this the first time that he did this? you know, if you think back and you step back, the last six months of drama almost all of it has come from anonymously sourced stories, often mostly wrong but from different members of the intelligence community. and it's a very disturbing question about where all of these are coming from. and i think it opens a new question in to comey himself and whether or not he has ever even done this before. paul: it sounds to me like he is looking for political -- i mean, he really does -- he wants mueller to be able to nail trump. that's the implication i take out of this. he wanted that special counsel, and he has teed mueller up to be able to conclude that there was obstruction of justice. that's how i read it. >> look, if you want to be really cynical, you could make
the argument -- he never corrected the president about what the appropriate behavior should be. instead he went and took all of these secret memos, kept building up his dossier and now he is tossing it all over to bob mueller. maybe this was his goal all along to bring down a president. paul: and, dan, i don't think there are tapes. remember when donald trump tweeted that better watch out if there are tapes and comey referred to that in his clip there. but, the -- kasowitz has now denied flat out that trump ever asked for loyalty. so, i doubt that there are tapes. >> yeah. it doesn't look like it. and it seems like the loyalty oath subset minor issue here. but there is a couple of things that have gotten sort of joined here that i think need to be separated. comey established that trump was not the target of an investigation involving the russian penetration of the campaign.
what was involved in this conversation was the probe of michael flynn, right? paul: right. >> the michael flynn probe is not the russian probe. flynn may be involved in that but these are two separate things. so if he has established that the president was not a target, now we know that as a matter of fact unless at some point further on the new special counsel decides to pull the president into it. but i think that was the big thing that donald trump was looking for. paul: we also have something that came up regarding the clinton -- the obama administration, the lorreta lynch was involved. let's listen. >> at one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation but, instead, to call it a matter. which confused me and concerned me. paul: he said he felt queazy about that but went ahead and described it as a matter anyway. what do you make of that? sounds like there was a little political pressure in the obama administration for comey to down play the email probe.
>> well, the contradiction here is even as comey sort of conjures up the independent fbi which, you know, a sovereign law enforcement agency is anti-they call to democracy and political accountability. if he truly thought the fbi was independent, then lorreta lynch's political interference in the clinton investigation should have prompted the exact same kind of blow-up that he had over donald trump and the russian investigation. but it didn't suggest that he was more concerned about preserving his job than his professed principles. paul: so bottom line here with all of this it seems to me that this didn't live up to the political hype but it did do some harm to trump. the real threat to him now, to presidentrump's presidential fus robert mueller and the special counsel probe, because we never know where that can go. and clearly comey was teeing mueller up to maybe do some damage to the president. all right.
still ahead, britain's general election ends in a hung parliament in a stunning set back for prime minister theresa may's conservative party. so what does it mean for brexit talks? we have a report from london next. ♪ because i don't use my cellphone when i'm driving. even though my family does, and leaves me all alone. here's something else... i don't share it with mom. i don't. right, mom? i have a brand new putter you don't even know about! it's awesome. safe driving bonus checks, only from allstate. sometimes i leave the seat up on purpose. switching to allstate is worth it. ykeep you sidelined.ng that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
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with the conservative party losing its majority in parliament. the vote coming just days after britain's third terror attack in less than three months. but a national security front and center in the final week we are joined from london. so thersea may is going to try despite being a minority now tried it form a government with the irish unionist. is she going to be able to pull that off. the queen has authorized her to try to do that. obviously now the ball is in her court to be able to get a firm commitment from the democratic union party the smarter -- small northern party and then to be able to convince them and to be able to convince others that she is able to lead the party. whatever government emerges
there is still a chance that she will remain prime minister when the dust settles. it would be fragile and weak. she went into the selection she did not had to call until 2020. i have a 20-point lead over labor. all the labor voters. it's a perfect time for this. a reasonable about how could she stay as prime minister and leader of the party after she led them into an election against that and lost seats. >> they are actually notoriously brutal. once they feel like a labor leader is ineffective. so unlike the labor side which for years have hung onto jeremy corbin who was seen as unelectable but now he's feels triumphant. it tends to be pretty ruthless. i wonder and i imagine that
the process is underway to try to think of alternatives whether that means bringing george osborne back to put forward a more traditional progrowth government. as opposed to thersea may's vision of working close -- working-class. they go after the big bad business practices and so forth. it's all very fluid. he was the chancellor of the x checker. even a practicing journalist and enough he wants to get back into politics. how did she lose a 20-point lead quacks. >> i think there was a couple of factors. i think that the brexit focus
that her government put forward have become tiresome in the sense that brexit would in some ways a settled question is going to be tough in brexit negotiations. where she came short was putting forward a vision of what would a post brexit version look like. as i mentioned it was this idea put forward by a clever but now seem to be discredited campaign who suggested a pre- fractured era of emphasizing social solidarity. and being okay with raising taxes and all about regulation in fact when government is needed to step in. that vision did not work. it didn't really find buyers. we the terror attacks in the
last two weeks. what role did that play. did that help or hurt her. i spoke with the party insiders ahead of the election and they're so confident that the fact that they seem to be facing a low grade's urgency with three attacks in 72 days. that would help her because for all of her other shortcomings as she put herself forward as a steady hand. she would not engage in debates about these issues. precisely because it allowed her to stay above the fray and appear like the prime minister. and let the rest of them duke it out. all of that taken together they thought it would ensure a victory for her because she was facing a guy who called them to friends. they wanted to disarm the
national security apparatus who does it believe in the shoot to kill a policy. given that they thought she would do well with it and maybe the reason she didn't do as bad as they could've been was because of the national security shortcoming. one of the lessons here is you cannot take voters for granted. amid the furor on capitol hill. they fight to keep its agenda on track. so could they unveil their health care bill as early as next week. tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass,
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in the problems will only get worse if congress fails to act. obama care is dead they are urging congress to act. they continue to hash out their bill behind closed doors. a vote could come by at july 4. they are mounting on the gop. they announce this week that it will pull out the healthcare exchanges in many ohio counties next year. growing uncertainty over the laws of the future. joe, how much progress are they making a behind the scenes. >> they are making a lot of progress. they studied this issue more than any other everybody says they are working as well together as they ever had.
they know where the policies are in the trade ups are. it's time to make a decision. the problems here and the disputes here. what to do with medicaid. how much authority you get back to the states. how many the pack taxes were. it's just turning those dials. in order to make it more generous. he's in a make a decision about what can get to a majority. on what he is telling members
as we can either vote for this , defend the success or we can apologize for a failure and if you fail you're you are going to have to produce a body. mcconnell i think is also telling his members look, if we don't do something on this they will go down help. we may end up having a debate among ourselves. if we make this an issue what's can happen as they have that power next time. they will go with single payer. >> this is the point to make. not just long-term political consequences. as you get more news you already see democrats they are developing new talking points. all of the problem it isn't
because of obama care is because of the uncertainty that is being caused by republicans not doing that. they send a message to the markets. it looks like they're not going to do anything here. i really narrow margin. they had decided that they will oppose everything that trump does. there is a lot at risk array here. the republicans are trying to do something on the substance. there are some interesting things going on. the states are already tried to do that.
it would allow people in nevada it sounds like an interesting experiment. it's been working very well. it's something that they can argue on behalf of. >> in that bill that they are putting together it will not be as conservative as the house bill. the most substantial reform. maybe ever. the question is will conservatives except that is enough. are they can and decide to govern and make this directional progress on that.
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more quickly more reliably more affordably. and yes for the first time in a long time on time. that was president trump on monday kicking off what the white house dumped infrastructure week. unveiling a plan to privatize the air traffic control system. a move of the administration said will make air travel safer and more efficient. the director of transportation. for presidential administrations. a lot of americans think air travel and experience is getting worse. what role does the air traffic control system play in that. it does not offer the same kind of advanced traffic
control. it does contribute to delays particularly 40% of all of the delays because of the airspace near new york city. that is a terrible mess which the faa has made a very low priority to solve and if it were customer driven responding to the real needs of its aviation customers it would be a very high priority there be working on that right now. >> the faa certainly knows this exist. it's not new it's been around for a long time. why do they have such a hard time implementing these kind of advances. one. they can't do revenue -- revenue bond financing. they have to operate in annual operations from congress. secondly they have a god-awful
procurement system. it's even worse than the department of defense. it takes forever to build things. many of these cases by the times something hits the field not only does it not work right the first time but it is about 15 years past when they started defining it and it's no longer even the state of the art. the question is you mentioned 60 some countries have something like this. this move to a nonprofit has been tried by other countries. what is the experience in canada. >> it's one of the best examples. at 20 years old now. completely supported by user payments. is run as a user co-op. no micro management by the parliament. in it has revenue bonds.
it has a technology that puts the faa to shame. they have digital pilot control messaging across the country and across the entire north atlantic which we don't have yet and we won't have another eight years. they have and are putting in global satellite surveillance through an entity that they created called irian that 70% of the world's surface doesn't have it. so planes are out there and had to have huge buffer zones around them. they don't know exactly where they are. starting in 2018 will know exactly what they are over the ocean just like we know overland yet they have not signed up to subscribe to this even though they are responsible for huge amounts of oceanic airspace. you will take risks. you will rely on technology.
what is your response. the united states is the one that is in high risk operation because we don't have transparency between safety regulation and service provision. in 2001 they said these two functions safety regulation and service provisions should be at arms length organizationally. they have not made that separation. that's one of the reasons why 60 countries had separated the two organizationally. i had been supporting this at the journal for more than 20 years. why is there so much opposition to this politically. a lot of this is a turf battle. they really enjoy having the ability to direct and tell them what to do and what not to do one of the problems for
example is that they head over 500 facilities around the country. twenty big centers that control the height. they could probably do that with three or four that would be completely backing up each other. it's almost impossible to close the facilities in someone's district. you get these concerns that prevent the kind of monetization that we really should have. australia has done this. let's hope that we can break the gridlock. let's take one more break.
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the u.s. ambassador to the nine nations this week issued a statement saying that they will no longer tolerate bullying of israel at the united nations. this is a welcome break from the obama administration which had either tolerated or in some cases joined in with the un who had tried to use the form to distract from their own records and be up on the world's sole jewish state. the dramatic foreign policy break that it represents a hit to michael bloomberg who said it would be spending $15 million to make up for money lost from trump withdrawing from the paris accord. i love this model. we have all of these billionaires and celebrities who have the pet causes.
this way everyone wins. they get to ease in their conscience. their conscience. taxpayers keep their dollars. ryan zinke who took the first steps this week to the list as a protected species. it is not endangered. the plans that lock up about 60 million acres out west. the u.s. energy industry. it is now exporting a million barrels of oil a day there were time that the tankers would come.